Wimmera and Mallee

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Inter-row sowing and row spacing

In the Wimmera and Mallee row spacings are on average 12 inch or 30cm. Stubble flow improves and blockages are minimised when crops are sown at wider row spacings (30cm or 12 inch), particularly in heavier stubble loads. However research in WA has found that yield is reduced by one per cent for every inch the sowing row is widened beyond 18cm (7 inch). Conversely, pulse yields can increase with wider row spacing. In chickpeas, yields and lowest pod height was higher in no-till, inter-row systems that used wider row spacings (30-60cm) compared with a 20cm conventional seeding system (Brand. J, 2011).

BCG sowing direction and row spacing

To investigate the influence of sowing direction and row spacing on weed populations in the low rainfall zone.

Location: Jil Jil, 20km north of Birchip

Crop variety: Mace wheat

Weeds: Matika oats (surrogate)

Sowing date: 23 May 2015

Sowing rate: 160 plants/m2 (51kg/ha)

Row spacings: 22.5cm (9 inch), 30.5cm (12 inch), 37.5cm (15 inch)

Sowing direction: north south, east-west.

Impact of crop emergence by row spacing and sowing direction

  • An increase in plants per metre of crop row occurred with wider row spacing. There was no interaction between row spacing and sowing direction. If the seeding rate is kept constant, wider row spacings will have a greater number of plants per row than narrower rows.
Crop density plants/m2

Crop density plants/m2

  •   An increase in plants per metre of crop row occurred with wider row spacing. There was no interaction between row spacing and sowing direction. If the seeding rate is kept constant, wider row spacings will have a greater number of plants per row than narrower rows.
Jil Jil Plants m row

Crop density plants/m row

Impact of weed density on row spacing and sowing direction

  • An increase in weed emergence per metre squared occurred with increased row spacing of 12 inch and 15 inch compared to the narrow row spacing of 9 inch.There was no effect of sowing direction.
  • If the seeding rate is kept constant, 9 inch row spacing enables greater crop competition with weeds.
Jil Jil weed density

Weed density plants/m2

Brand. J, (2011) Stubble a key to high pulses yield

For further info on: Row Spacing in a no till system look at the Flexible Farming Systems Fact sheet.

Inter row sowing with disc seeders: Inter row sowing with disc seeders in the Wimmera Mallee

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This research is being conducted by BCG as part of the GRDC Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble initiative (project BWD00024 ‘Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble in Victoria and Tasmania’).

Disclaimer: Any recommendations, suggestions or opinions contained in this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) or the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). No person should act on the basis of the contents of this publication without first obtaining specific, independent professional advice. BCG and GRDC and contributors to these guidelines may identify products by proprietary or trade names to help readers identify particular types of products. We do not endorse or recommend the products of any manufacturer referred to. Other products may perform as well as or better than those specifically referred to. BCG and GRDC will not be liable for any loss, damage, cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information in this publication. 
Stubble project overview: This guideline has been developed for BCG Farming Systems Group as part of the Maintaining Profitable Farming Systems with Retained Stubble initiative, funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). The initiative involves farming systems groups in Victoria, South Australia, southern and central New South Wales and Tasmania collaborating with research organisation’s and agribusiness to explore and address issues for growers that impact the profitability of cropping systems with stubble, including pests, diseases, weeds, nutrition and the physical aspects of sowing and establishing crops in heavy residues.
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One Response to Wimmera and Mallee

  1. Pingback: Fallow management in the Wimmera and Mallee | The stubble project: Victoria and Tasmania

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